New codes of conduct take effect for nurses and midwives

01 Mar 2018

New codes of conduct are now in effect for all nurses and midwives in Australia.

The new Code of conduct for nurses and Code of conduct for midwives (the codes), take effect today, 1 March 2018, for all nurses and midwives in Australia. The codes set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for all nurses and midwives in all practice settings.

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) sets the standards, codes and guidelines which together establish the requirements for professional and safe nursing and midwifery practice in Australia.

NMBA Chair, Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN, said the codes of conduct are vital guidance to ensure safe nursing and midwifery care.

‘Nursing and midwifery are hugely trusted professions in our community and the purpose of the codes of conduct is to make sure that daily practice meets that trust,’ Associate Professor Cusack said.

‘All nurses and midwives share the responsibility of meeting that trust, and the codes provide guidance to do that.’

The new codes of conduct can be viewed on the professional standards section of the NMBA website, alongside a suite of resources the NMBA has developed to support nurses and midwives to get to know their new codes, including conduct case studies and a fact sheet.

To help nurses and midwives understand the new requirements, the NMBA has also launched a video promoting the values and principles of the codes, and a vodcast presentation explaining the key conduct expectations.

The NMBA is asking nurses and midwives to view these resources and reflect on how the new codes of conduct relate to their practice, which can count towards continuing professional development (CPD) hours.

Associate Professor Cusack encouraged all nurses and midwives to reflect on the changes to conduct expectations and their own practice.

‘These codes provide a foundation for safe practice and give guidance on crucial issues such as bullying and harassment, professional boundaries and cultural safety. Nurses and midwives need to meet the standards set in these codes, even if their employer also has a code of conduct,’ she said.

The new codes replace the previous Code of professional conduct for nurses and Code of professional conduct for midwives, as well as the previous professional boundaries documents, from 1 March 2018.

Video: Being a midwife or a nurse means something

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Page reviewed 1/03/2018